Patrick Meyer ” the best thing a vigneron/ne can do, is to plant trees, lots of them. “
Main photo by Tristan Vuano www.avuedecoucou.com
January 2023 – a new year
Happy New Year and all that, and with this new year we will attempt to blog post our monthly goings on.
So, its out the village gate into the big Alsace to see what is going on.
The year got off to a busy start with tastings and general catch up visits to Jean Francois Ginglinger down in Pfaffenheim, Christian Binner and the Geschickt set ups in Ammerschwihr, Florian and Mathilde Beck Hartweg in Dambach-la-Ville and Patrick and Mireille Meyer in Nothalten. A couple of freezing cold days were spent planting trees and hedges with Gerard Blaess (Domaine Petit Poucet), which was a follow on from some December tree planting with Leonard Dietrich in Dambach. At the end of the month I attended the premier of Panorama – Histoires de Vin Naturel, a film by Nicolas Dedouits. Nicolas and his partner Lilli run the Sauvagere domain and we were delighted to have them at the Phare o Vins wine fair, held in Strasbourg last November.
PHARE Ô VINS – STRASBOURG
Well the Phare ô Vins worked out well – report coming soon.
On the 17-19th November we are involved with a bunch of partners in hosting an event around natural wine, with food, conferences and music. Around 50 winemakers will be presenting their cuvées during the three day salon. As Strasbourg is one of the key natural wine hubs in France, its about time an annual salon becomes a fixture on the calendar and this event is the prototype for that.
The Phare Citadel site is where the event will take place. A post industrial complex of buildings situated in the Port du Rhin neighbourhood, sitting right along the water and almost bang on the French German border.
The organising committee includes members from the Phare Citadel Co-operative, Marcus Restaurant, the Au Fil du Vin Libre retail wine shop, Pierre Berthier and our good selves.
The lineup of winemakers and the timing for the tastings is displayed below for each day.
After the close of the tasting part of the wine fair, the bar, bistronomic food, music and a general open party atmosphere will be going on.
Salon Brut(es) edition number four took place on the 5th and 6th of November, at the MOTOCO complex in Mulhouse.
Super well organised in such an excellent setting and atmospheric with late Autumn vibes.
Details around the Brut(es) project on the most excellent Brut(es) web site here
We tasted quite a range of wines from around France and Germany, but with the nature of our interest, we did spend some time at the Alsace contingents tables.
Fourteen Alsace domains attended the Brut(es) salon, plus a cider maker and also Michelle Ramponi with her exquisite grape seed oils.
A great group of people making a difference in Alsace with their attitude in the vineyards and in the cellars. We could write a book about the 14 wine domains in how they provide a view of the range of natural winemakers working in Alsace.
First photo L-R top row.
Claudine Dreyer from the Jean-Marc Dreyer domain, Louise Meyer from the Meyer family at Julien Meyer, Léo Dirringer from Ruhlmann Dirringer, Émilien Revers from Raisin Sauvage.
Julien Albertus from Kumpf & Meyer, Vincent Larcelet from Petit Bouchon, Regis Bard (away for lunch), Christophe Lindenlaub.
L-R top row.
David Spenlihauer from Ciders René-Sens, Elsa from Muller Koeberlé, Vanessa Letort from Du Vins aux Liens, Sarah and Jean Fallay from Les Enfants Terribles.
Michelle Ramponi from Miralla, Clément Goepp, Anais Fanti, Jeanne Gaston-Breton from La Ferme des 9 Chemins.
A bunch of placeholder headings follow, where the story of the 2021 winemakers visits will gradually appear during the summer. For harvest the site will be re-jigged with the first five years (2017-2022) archived and parked for posterity viewing. The front end of the site will be switched up somewhat, to take into account Back in Alsace being back in Alsace. What that means, we will see.
Meanwhile there is stuff going on………. Summer Fascht 4, organised by the Association des Vins Libres d’Alsace is set for the 10th and 11th of July. See the poster below for the details. The Salon des Vins Libres edition 8 is all set for the weekend after, the 15th and 16th of July. Again, see the below for details.
Around the VINS LIBRES wine fairs there is a bunch of independent events organised, loosely linked to the attitude of a week of VINS LIBRES. Check our Instagram feed for details.
Summer 2021 Visits
After a hard weeks work around the seventh edition of the Salon des Vins Libres, the next period was packed with winemaker visits to Jean-Pierre Frick, Jean-Marc Dreyer, Vincent Larcelet at Domaine du Petit Buchon, Emilien Revers at Raisin Sauvage, Leo Dirringer and Regis Bard. This was like a late summer holiday, a “busman’s holiday”.
Autumn 2021 Visits
Post harvest provided the opportunity for some refreshing visits that included the Bannwarth family domain in Obermorschwihr, Clos Liebau in Ribeauvillé and two start up adventures in Ammerschwihr; Anais Fanti and Les Vins Funambules “collective”. We also had the privilege and pleasure to visit Anders Frederik Steen’s Alsace operation, on main street Obermorschwihr. And, there was the added bonus of the 3rd edition of the Brutes wine fair, on first weekend in November way down south in Mulhouse.
The 2021 Winter BLOG
“The winter months; December, January and February and planning to be STUCK-in-ALSACE ………..” The visits during 2021 winter months were mostly of the drop in and catch up types. But they did include Vanessa Letort, Farid Yahimi, Philippe Brand, Jean-Marc Dreyer and Lambert Spielmann. Plus a mini natural wine fair one cold December night at the “other” Strasbourg, Christmas Market.
– the project –
The Lost In Alsace Project is focused on two main areas; providing a platform for “les vignerons artisans d’Alsace” and secondly, a follow up and reporting of the major events, twists and turns and initiatives that shape what matters with Alsace wine today. As with any “old world” wine region, there are plenty of issues, degrees of bull-shit, and bad attitudes stuck in the industrial agricultural recent past. We will be giving all that sort of stuff a body swerve as we firmly focus on all that vibrant, forward looking, energy that is currently buzzing in the region.
We are big supporters of producers who practice organic or biodynamic husbandry in the vineyards. Vignerons who are looking after the earth. In fact, that is the foundation of our interest. And we love winemakers that carry this attitude through to techniques in the cellar; with natural fermentations, the use of traditional and non-traumatising physical methods, and a healthy disrespect for the use of additives. These are the foundations that allow winemakers the opportunity to express a sense of terroir, a sense of wine that comes from a place, from a time with the input of human skills and attitudes. With a lot of attitude. That takes us into a space where we are mainly focused on, what can loosely be termed, natural wine.
And there is more to it than that, as the Lost in Alsace Project is interested in the community around natural wine; the winemakers, the producer associations, the retail outlets, the wine bars and restaurants, the importers, the distributors, the journalists, the authors, the publishers, the barrel makers, the artists doing labels and posters, the wine fairs and salons, and most importantly all the workers involved in making this all whirr and rattle along. And, of course the humble masses who buy and drink the stuff.
Three shades of red from Lucas Rieffel – captured by Mona Neilson – website here